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Govt rejects ECP objections over EVMs

Govt to go head with legislation, Faraz

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 8, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 8, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Senator Shibli Faraz addresses a press conference in Islamabad. (Photo Twitter)

The federal government has rejected the 37 objections raised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over the use of Electronic Voter Machines (EVMs) in the next general election.

Federal Minister of Science and Technology Shibli Faraz told a press conference on Wednesday that the government was planning to move ahead with its plans to legislate on EVMs. “Government’s job is to legislate and that we shall do,” he said.

He said 27 of the 37 objections raised by the ECP had nothing to do with technology and instead they were related to the capacity of the ECP. “It is up to the ECP how it copes with these issues,” the minister said.

Faraz said the only people resisting the EVMs were those who had won past elections by rigging.

“The status quo does not want the country to have free and fair elections,” he said. The minister claimed the government was not thinking about itself but the future of the country.

The minister offered the opposition to nominate a technical team to get their reservations addressed.

Faraz levelled serious allegations against the ECP claiming that ECP had called the technical committee from the ministry of science for the first time today (Wednesday) — a day after submitting its report to the parliamentary committee.

He said the government would conduct the 2023 general elections with the help of “technology” and they would the first free and fair election in the country.

What does ECP say?

The Election Commission of Pakistan is responsible for holding general elections and by-polls in Pakistan. The general elections are held under a transitional government with limited powers. Constitutionally the ECP is independent.

The ECP has rejected the use of EVMs saying they could neither stop rigging nor ensure that the results would not be delayed.

In a report, it submitted the Senate’s standing committee on parliamentary affairs, the ECP raised 37 objections.

The ECP said the EVMs were “hackable” and prone to be tempered.

The election commission said more time was needed before the implementation of EVMs as the next general election were only two years away.

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